Nikon has shut down its production facilities in northern Japan, including the factory that makes flagship DSLR cameras such as the D700, following the earthquake and tsunami disaster.
The news comes as the company today confirms injuries to ?some? of its group employees and gathers information on other staff and their family members.
‘We have no reports of any fatalities or seriously-injured employees so far,’ a Nikon spokeswoman told Amateur Photographer this morning.
‘We are committed to investigating any personal injuries.’
The Nikon plant at Natori in Sendai, which has made top-end cameras such as the D3, is among the factories forced to close after damage to equipment and buildings.
Nikon’s Sendai plant is where cameras including the D3S, D3X, D700 and F6 are made.
?We are suspending operations there and continuing to evaluate further details of the damage,? Nikon said in a statement.
?We are unable to announce how soon the operations will resume due to the regional interruption of life-lines??
There is no word on whether cameras waiting for shipment oversees have been hit, though it is reported that Japanese ports in the area have been badly hit by the disaster.
The latest situation regarding product distribution is currently ‘under investigation’, according to Nikon’s UK office.
Nikon’s Sendai plant, which lies in the Miyagi Prefecture, opened in 1971 and made Nikon’s legendary F-series of film-based SLRs.
It is understood to employ around 500 workers, plus hundreds of temporary labourers.
Meanwhile, Nikon has set up an Emergency Headquarters for Disaster Control, headed up by its president, and donated 100 million yen (around £750,000) to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
‘Nikon Corporation would like to express its profound sympathy and condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Northern Japan, on March 11 2011,’ added the company statement.
Yesterday there had been no reports of British casualties at hospitals in nearby Sendai City, according to the British Ambassador to Japan, David Warren.
Two thousand bodies are reported to have been found along the Miyagi coast.
Meanwhile, Canon’s factory in northern Honshu, which is understood to make lenses, remains closed with no word on when production will resume. Fifteen people were reported injured there.
Canon today said that, at plants where operations ‘may be suspended for one month or more’, it will seek to make use of alternative sites that escaped damage, in order to maintain production.
Canon has donated 300 million yen to relief efforts.
Nikon statement, published at nikon.com today:
Notice on the damage hit by Major Earthquake in Northern Japan (Japan’s Tohoku region)
March 14, 2011
The Nikon Group would like to express its profound sympathy and condolences to the victims of earthquake in Major Earthquake in Northern Japan (Japan’s Tohoku region) on March 11. The effects to our group companies are as follows.
Measures to cope with the situations
We have set up the Emergency Headquarters for Disaster Control headed by the President on March 11 immediately after the earthquake, and are taking the necessary steps. We are currently endeavoring to normalize our business as early as possible through our BCM (Business Continuity Management) teams established in each in-house company.
Damage to our group companies
2-1. Damage to equipment and buildings
Our group companies, including Sendai Nikon Corporation, Natori, Miyagi Pref., Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd., Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi Pref., Tochigi Nikon Corporation, Otawara, Tochigi Pref., Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd., Otawara, Tochigi Pref., and other subsidiaries as well as our Plants suffered damage to some part of the equipment and buildings. We are suspending operations there and continuing to evaluate further details of the damage. We are unable to announce how soon the operation will resume due to the regional interruption of life-lines although endeavor for restoration are under the way by some of our maintenance personnel.
For the list of our group companies
For the list of our plants
2-2. Damage to personnel
Injury is reported to some of our group employees. We are currently continuing to gather safety information of our personnel and its family members.
Forecast of effect by the damage to our business performances
We are concentrated in evaluating how the immediate damage by the disaster and controlled interruption of electricity started from March 14 will result in our group companies and business performances. We will advise our findings immediately when it is revealed that the damage would further expand.
The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.